Reducing homelessness through radical recruitment

By Emma Freivogel | 12 October 2020

I founded Radical Recruit to excite, agitate and shake things up in the recruitment industry. I want help redress the imbalance of employment opportunity afforded to people who experience homelessness and other barriers to work including contact with the care and criminal justice systems, addiction, mental ill-health and disability. Our aim is to support people with barriers to work gain confidence and develop the belief they require to regain control of their futures through paid and meaningful work. This, in turn, reduces their dependence on local authorities and other services which are funded by the public purse.

Radical incorporated as a community interest company (CIC) on 1st of October 2019. Since then, we have listened to our Radicals’ stories. Stories that made us weep. Stories that made us rage. Stories that made us wonder at their strength. Stories of everyday injustice; of the lived experience of people we pass unknowingly in the street. Our Radicals’ are the heart and soul of Radical Recruit. They are our purpose, our reason for getting up in the morning and our reason for working into the night.

Over the last 365 days, we have placed 63 Radicals whose potential, tenacity, resilience and grit has been recognised and valued by employers who saw past the labels society assigns, and who replace the empty rhetoric of inclusivity and diversity, with action.

We approach recruitment in a similar manner to our for-profit counterparts in the sense that our Radicals get offered an interview on the merit of their application and are offered roles because they are the best candidate at the end of the selection process. What sets us apart from other recruiters is the wrap-around support we provide to ensure our Radicals can be competitive in the recruitment process, win jobs and sustain their employment after on-boarding. Unlike their mainstream counterparts, our Radicals bring a range of soft skills that can’t be taught in a classroom or on the job, but are typically gained through having to navigate adversity.  

Despite our relative newness in the recruitment arena, our commitment to doing social good was picked up by homelessness charity St Mungo’s who contacted me in the middle of lockdown about a new project. St Mungo’s supported 100 homeless people into temporary accommodation so they could isolate safely but with no recourse to public funds, employment continues to be the only solution to their homelessness. As a one-woman band, I really didn’t think my little business would be able to help, especially knowing the time and support needed for this to be a success. But I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I wrote a proposal detailing how I thought it could work and the funding needed to make it happen. This was how the Radical Futures project was born.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able recruit a crack team of experienced recruiters and a brilliant marketer who are working against the clock to get 100 people into employment in under 100 days. My new team have hit the ground running, which is  no mean feat given we are all working in isolation at home.  But we’re driven because if we fail our mission, our Radicals will be forced to return to the streets.

We invite London local authorities to partner with us. All of our candidates have extensive experience in one or more of the following sectors: hospitality, construction, hygiene services, gardening and landscaping. As the project is fully funded, we offer a no-fee recruitment service and access to the most diverse talent that London has to offer. Our Radicals are work-ready and motivated. They want to be part of the community and be able to contribute to it too. There’s a natural correlation between the skillsets of our Radicals and the roles needed to keep a busy London borough functioning. We have lifeguards for your leisure centres, cooks and chefs for your schools, maintenance workers, drivers, administrators, customer service people for your helplines and many more.

Drop me or one of the team a line at hello@radicalrecruit.co.uk to discuss how we can work together to help our Radicals regain control and walk with purpose into their futures. The time to act is now.

Emma Freivogel is the founder of Radical Recruit

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